There is no such thing as sin; rather you yourselves are what produces sin when you act in accordance with the nature of adultery [unfaithfulness], which is called “sin.” For this reason, the Good came among you, pursuing (the good) which belongs to every nature. It will set it within its root.
This is why you get sick and die: because you love what deceives you.
–Gospel of Mary Magdalene
I have long been, in my mind, an extremist.
This is good, that is bad. Pick, pick, pick. Judge, judge, judge. Oh boy, the judgment that has emanated from me. Whoo! It’s horrible. But, you know, what can you do.
Yoga teaches another way, a middle path. The Gospel of Mary Magdalene also teaches that. It’s one of the lost gospels from the New Testament, a sacred work that was buried for too long, that was unfortunately not selected to be in the Christian canon.
(Think that might have been on purpose? Wink wink.)
We have been taught some pretty messed up things from the time we’re born. We’ve been told we are bad, and we are wrong. You can’t really blame our parents. They were taught that, too! They didn’t know any better!
But when you were a brand new baby coming out of your Mother’s womb, how do you think she looked at you? Do you think she said, Oh dear. This thing. Yuck.
I doubt it, baby. Your mother (and your Great Mother) looks at you with abundant, unconditional love. And that’s how God looks at you too.
Sin, or what’s called “adultery” above, is just an alteration in the way you operate. It’s a misstep. It’s believing something that isn’t true. It’s extremism and judgment, and picking things apart with your mind, rather than loving them with your heart.
Even Shakespeare says, in Hamlet, “Nothing is really good or bad in itself—it’s all what a person thinks about it.”
In the Gospel of Mary, the Lord says that there is no original sin. Sin is simply acting without faith. Sin is when we don’t know the Truth of something, when we see incorrectly. When we see the illusion of something rather than what’s really there.
And the Lord, my dear, is everywhere. In everything. The He/She Master is always talking to you, always speaking divine words.
The problem, most often, is in our minds, our minds which are programmed with extremist thinking. We can’t help it, really. We are in a culture that is extremist, after all. We grow up with everyone pointing fingers. And so we begin to do that, too. And the worst way we do that is to ourselves, because the way we see ourselves deep down, is usually the way we see other people. We are our own worst enemy.
It’s such a shame, because the Mother and Father—the They—love us so much, and they don’t want us to feel that way. They want to liberate us, free us, from the chains! They want to say, take off your bras and your shackles, the things that confine you! Underneath all that, it’s only Love!
But we have to unlearn a lot of crap to get to this realization. Mainly, we have to uncover what this “sin” thing actually is. Sin is another word for suffering. It’s a word for the way we deceive ourselves with our egomaniacal brains, our brains that suggest we can figure everything out. (We just can’t! We’re only human!)
Truth is somewhere in the middle.
Truth is when we move through the world from a center of Love. How do we know Love? Well, it’s this really miraculous thing, a thing we may not be able to define. But I’ll take a gander. True Love has something to do with compassion, with non-judgment, and with non-attachment.
Try that on for a while. It’s the Middle Way.
But where do you start? Oh, dear. It’s kind of a journey. But I can’t help but stress enough that just reading the Bible, or just going to sermons or masses or yoga classes, or sitting there thinking is not going to get you there, to this natural habitation of walking in the assurance of the Middle. What you have to do is pray, a lot, and take time each day to sit with your palms open on your lap, and breathe. You have to face your fear of yourself, face that insect-ridden mind of yours, and breathe. Stare that shit down. Tell it who’s boss. Tell it it doesn’t own you, doesn’t know you. Do you know who knows you? Who loves you without a doubt, unconditionally, no matter what you do?
(That’s God. I’m just trying out some other words.)
So, you know, try it. Do this meditation/centering prayer thing. Sit still and close your eyes and breathe. Face yourself. You are so, so beautiful. Have the courage to see what’s inside.
I promise, it’s really not so scary. Like, I’ve done this? And I’m kind of learning? And wow, it’s just so much more magical inside than you might ever believe.